How To Dropship On Amazon Without Money For Beginners

This guide is an overview of how to dropship on Amazon without any money. Keep reading to learn more.

 min read
March 12, 2024
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As someone who has managed dropshipping stores, I’ve had to deal with selling on Amazon. I want to help you do that, but in the cheapest way possible.

There's a lot to cover. Let's get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon charges individual and professional seller fees, plus referral fees on sales.
  • Dropshipping is allowed on Amazon, but you must be the seller of record and avoid any supplier branding.
  • Find a niche and locate reliable suppliers who can offer blind shipping.
  • Market your products for free using social media, promotions, and SEO.
  • Provide excellent customer service to build a positive reputation on Amazon.

Fees For Sellers On Amazon (Read First)

  • Individual Plan: $0.99 per item soldsome text
    • Best for selling 39 or fewer products a month.
  • Professional Plan: $39.99/mo.some text
    • Better if you sell more than 40 or more products monthly.

The main fee associated with selling on Amazon is the seller fee. No matter what, Amazon will get money from you. Thus, there’s technically no “free” way of selling on Amazon. However, you can get started for free.

Thankfully, fees only come from when you sell products. Or if you opt for the Professional plan—I don’t recommend this until you sell more volume.

You will also need to worry about referral fees with Amazon. Referrals happen when, for instance, a website has an affiliate link to your product, and the customer buys it. These fees range from 3% to 45% of the total item cost.

The referral fee will vary by category. Amazon has an updated list of referral fees on their site [1].

Wait, I almost forgot about the refund fee. This applies to affiliate-linked products only. When a customer requests a refund, you’ll need to pay $5 or 20% of the item’s referral fee.

Better not sell low-quality products.

Amazon won’t charge you anything to ship your products, but you’ll need to pay your dropshipping supplier. The price for this will vary by supplier.

There are also Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees, but that’s irrelevant to this post.

Summary: Amazon's seller fees include a $0.99 per item sold for the Individual Plan and a $39.99 monthly fee for the Professional Plan, with additional referral and refund fees.

Amazon's Rules On Dropshipping: Don't Skip This Part

Amazon allows dropshipping, but you must follow these rules to maintain the appearance that products come directly from you: [2, 3]:

  • Be the official seller: You must be listed as the seller of record for every product on your listings.
  • Remove traces of your supplier: Ensure NO packing slips, invoices, or external packaging reveal a third-party supplier is involved.
  • Own the customer experience: Handle all customer service inquiries and returns yourself, ensuring customers have your contact information for support.
  • Avoid buying from other retailers: Don't source products from other online stores or Amazon itself—you won't be able to be the seller of record.
  • Work directly with suppliers: Partner with manufacturers, suppliers, or dropshipping companies who agree to make you the seller of record.

Most of the points on this list are obvious and common sense. But the “remove traces of your supplier” part is where things may get tricky.

You must find a supplier who agrees to use plain, unbranded packaging and is willing to include your own customized packing slips. Most suppliers on sites like AliExpress will have plain labels. However, you’ll need to ensure this is the case.

DO NOT let suppliers convince you that it’s fine to put their branding on your packages. This will get you kicked off of Amazon.

Order a test product from your supplier to ensure there's no mention of their company. Doing this is essential, as it’ll ensure you don’t get booted from Amazon.

Ensure you follow all these rules and check in on them to ensure you’re up-to-date with their rules. You don’t want Amazon to immediately shut you down because you forgot to follow an easy rule.

Summary: Dropshipping on Amazon is allowed, provided you follow specific rules to maintain the appearance that the product is directly from your business.

How To Dropship On Amazon Without Money

You’ll need to follow these steps to build a dropshipping storefront on Amazon:

  1. Find a Niche: Choose a specific product category to focus your store on.
  2. Find a Supplier & Products: Find a reliable supplier offering products in your niche.
  3. Create an Amazon Store: Sign up for a free Amazon seller account.
  4. Get Approval for Product Categories: Apply for approval to sell in restricted categories if needed.
  5. Create Amazon Listings: Add detailed product descriptions and images to your Amazon store.
  6. Market Your Products: Promote your listings with advertising and social media.
  7. Process Sales: Fulfill customer orders through your dropshipping supplier.

I’ll explain each of these steps in-depth, provide free tools (and possibly paid alternatives) you’ll need to achieve each step, and the research you’ll need to perform.

Let’s dive in.

1. Create An Amazon Store

Head on over to and click/tap “Sign up.”

If you don’t already have an Amazon account, you’ll need to create one by providing the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Email
  • Password—and password confirmation

From there, you’ll need to solve a CAPTCHA, verify your account via email, and add a phone number. Amazon won’t let you use VOIP phone numbers from services like Google Voice. You’ll need to get a cheap prepaid SIM card to get a legitimate phone number.

There are no free options for legitimate phone numbers.

Once you create an Amazon account, for the love of God, please add 2-factor authentication (2FA). Download an app called Aegis (for Android OS) or Authy (iOS)—both are free apps.

From there, enable 2FA on your account and use one of those apps to generate single-use codes to log in.

2FA is critical to account security to help prevent hackers from accessing your account and wreaking havoc on your business. This will save you a lot of money and headache in the long run.

Now, you’ll select your country of residence.

Then, select your business location and business type. If you don’t have a business yet, choose your country of residence for the first part. And “None, I am an individual” for the second part. If going this route, you’ll need to provide your first, middle, and last names.

If you’re a business, select your business type. You’re likely not a state-owned or publicly-listed business. Select “Privately-owned business.” From there, enter the business name (DBA or Doing Business As) name as registered with your government.

For instance, if you registered “Bob’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man Emporium” as your business name with the government, that’s what you’d list here.

For further confirmation of your business, you’ll need:

  • Tax information (EIN or SSN)
  • Government ID
  • Internationally chargeable credit card
  • Phone number (not VOIP)
  • Bank account—business or personal
  • Business email address—same email you used to create the Amazon account

This information is for folks in the United States who are registering for Amazon. If you’re in, for instance, the United Kingdom, you’ll need different information to identify business registration in the UK.

Summary: To become an Amazon seller, one needs to create an Amazon account and provide personal information, tax information, and other necessary documents for business identification.

2. Get Approval For Product Categories (With Certain Products)

Amazon has approval requirements for these product categories [4]:

  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Music & DVDs
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Video, DVD & Blu-ray
  • Watches

It’s unlikely that you’ll dropship any of the categories in the list above (except watches).

If you’re selling watches, you’ll need to explore Amazon’s requirements for approval. Otherwise, you’ll need to focus on other niches in the beginning.

The following categories don’t require approval as a whole, but will require approval for subcategories:

  • Health & Personal Care
  • Baby products
  • Personal Computers
  • Office Products
  • Outdoors
  • Grocery & Gourmet Foods

Amazon is vague with the information provided on their main page about category approval. You’ll need to check out each of the subcategories for these areas and see where you’ll need approval. Doing this will help you decide what niche to pursue.

It says you’ll need approval for selling collectible coins. However, once you get to the page it links to, there’s a warning saying “We are no longer accepting new Seller applications for this program. For all other questions, please contact Selling Partner Support.”

This shouldn’t matter since you won’t be dropshipping coins. But I needed to bring it up.

Why does Amazon require approval?

Here are some reasons:

  • Safety: Some products, like toys or electronics, need to meet safety standards to prevent customer harm.
  • Authenticity: Categories like fine art or collectibles are prone to counterfeits; Amazon wants to ensure sellers are offering genuine products.
  • Customer Trust: Restricting certain categories helps Amazon maintain the overall quality of its marketplace and keep customers confident in their purchases.

Amazon will take down your product listings if you don't have the proper approval. Repeated violations could lead to your entire Amazon selling account getting suspended.

Follow the rules and get approved. Don’t ruin your business before listing a product.

Speaking of products…

Summary: Amazon requires approval for certain product categories due to safety, authenticity, and customer trust concerns.

3. Find Your Products

When choosing products to sell on Amazon, consider the following:

  • Shipping costs matter: Big, bulky items mean higher shipping expenses, eating into your profits.some text
    • Smaller and lighter products generally lead to better margins.
  • Price point balance: Inexpensive products may sell fast, but low individual profit makes it harder to sustain your business.some text
    • Seek products that allow for a healthy markup while remaining attractive to customers.
  • Customer focus: Understanding your ideal customer's needs, interests, and price sensitivity will guide you toward products with higher potential.
  • Demand vs. competition: While high demand is good, saturated markets are harder to break into. 

Shipping costs and product price directly impact your profit margins. Seek smaller, lighter items with pricing that allows for markup while appealing to your target customer.

I’d love to have listed this step first, but if you can’t create an Amazon account, or require approval for your niche, there’s no point in moving forward.

Here are some tools to use for product and niche research to sell products on Amazon:

  • Amazon Bestsellers: Explore Amazon's Bestsellers lists across different categories to spot popular products and potential niches.
  • Amazon Movers & Shakers: This section highlights products with recent spikes in sales, helping identify up-and-coming trends.
  • Amazon's Product Opportunity Explorer: This tool provides data-driven insights on search volume and competition level for different niches, making it a valuable resource.
  • Google Trends: Track how interest in specific products or search terms evolves over time, helping you gauge popularity and trending potential.
  • Social listening: Monitor hashtags, forums, and subreddits related to potential niches to understand what products people are excited about and what problems they're looking to solve.

Here’s a video to help you get started with product research:

All of these tools are free, though you can use free trials for paid software like, which allows you to explore their extensive database of products, analyze trends, and assess competition within a niche.

Summary: Start with the free methods (e.g., social listening), and consider the free trials of professional tools as you begin to generate profit.

4. Find Your Supplier (While Avoiding Scams)

In short, consider these attributes when searching for a supplier:

  • Seek suppliers with fast order processing for satisfied Amazon customers.
  • Find suppliers who don't have minimum order quantities (MOQs).
  • Prioritize suppliers with excellent communication.
  • Ensure suppliers offer competitive wholesale prices to maximize your profit margins.
  • Choose suppliers who provide quality products to maintain your reputation.
  • Verify suppliers offer blind shipping with plain labels for Amazon compliance.
  • Look for suppliers with clear product descriptions and high-quality images.

Online supplier directories are your starting point for finding dropshipping partners.

Platforms like AliExpress are known for their extensive product variety and affordable prices from China-based suppliers. However, consider that shipping from China can take longer

Directories like SaleHoo, Doba, and Wholesale Central often feature pre-vetted suppliers, including some based in the US. This can mean faster shipping times, but potentially higher product costs.

When searching suppliers take advantage of the filters most directories offer. Sort results by factors like price, supplier location, minimum order quantities (MOQs) to streamline your search and find the best fit for your needs.

Choosing a supplier is about more than the product. Scrutinize them to ensure a successful partnership:

  • Reputation: Seek out suppliers with positive reviews or testimonials from other dropshippers.some text
    • This offers insight into their reliability and overall quality.
  • Communication: Test their responsiveness and helpfulness when you contact them with inquiries.
  • Pricing: Ensure the supplier's prices allow you to make a healthy profit even after factoring in Amazon's various seller fees.
  • Policies: Fully understand their shipping times, return procedures, and any additional fees they may charge.

Then you’ll need to ask questions:

  • Do they offer dropshipping? Not every supplier on these directories supports the dropshipping model.
  • Can they handle blind shipping? This is crucial for complying with Amazon's dropshipping policies.
  • What is their production capacity? Make sure they can scale with you if your sales increase, preventing you from running out of stock.

Wait, what’s blind shipping?

Blind shipping is when a dropshipping supplier ships a product directly to your customer without including any of their own branding or identifying information. This means no company name, invoices, or packing slips from the supplier are included in the package.

Summary: Seek a supplier that has a good reputation, has great communication, and good pricing. Also ensure you thoroughly read through their policies.

5. Create Amazon Listings

Follow these steps to create an Amazon product listing [5]:

  1. Click/tap “Don’t see your product? Create a new listing.”
  2. Upload images for your products—ideally, 6 images and a product video (if possible)
  3. Fill in product details:some text
    1. Title
    2. Brand
    3. Manufacturer
    4. Product ID (EAN, GTIN, UPC, or ASIN)some text
      1. Most folks will use a UPC
    5. Additional information
  4. Add price, quantity, SKU (optional), and condition.
  5. Review all your information.

Here’s a video to visualize all these steps:

I recommend watching it on x1.5 or x2 speed to make it go quicker. It’s 20 minutes long.

What if you wanted to automatically import products from platforms like AliExpress to Amazon? That requires money, which is something that you don’t want to spend due to reading this tutorial.

Plus, I don’t recommend these tools because though they’ll make life easier, it’s easy for them to make mistakes on information that could result in customer returns. If you scale up and need to export more products, I recommend hiring a virtual assistant from a site like Upwork.

Summary: Follow the steps above and add products manually. Using automation tools could result in returns.

6. Market Your Products (For Free)

You’re competing against other shops who are investing thousands (possibly millions) of dollars into ads and other marketing mediums. Thus, it’ll be difficult for you to stand out when marketing for free.

However, here are your options:

Summary: Use social media marketing, promotions (e.g., coupons), Amazon SEO, and product listing optimization to maximize your marketing.

1. Leverage Social Media

Marketing on TikTok, Facebook, X (Twitter), and Pinterest all give you free avenues of marketing your products.

Here are some ideas on what you could do:

  • Target your demographic: Share your Amazon product listings across social media, especially in groups or communities where your demographic frequents.
  • Run contests: Offer giveaways specifically for followers who tag someone or share a post related to your product and Amazon listing.some text
    • This requires money.
  • Product Features: Create short videos on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok demonstrating your product's uses and benefits, linking directly to your Amazon listing.

Always disclose your relationship as an Amazon seller when promoting products on social media. Clear disclaimers (like #ad) are a must.

2. Promotions

Promotions can help new listings gain traction, attract early reviews, and improve ranking within Amazon's search results. However, they’ll take a chunk out of your margin since you’re making less per sale.

You gotta do what you gotta do to get started, though.

Here are some ideas:

  • Coupons: Create discount codes that customers can enter at checkout to save a certain percentage or a fixed amount off their purchase.
  • Percentage-off discounts: Set a promotional period where your products automatically have a percentage discount displayed on the listing page.
  • Social media promotion codes: Offer exclusive discount codes for your social media followers to create a sense of exclusivity and incentivize them to visit your Amazon listings.
  • Buy One, Get One (BOGO) promotions: Encourage customers to buy more by offering a free or discounted additional item with a qualifying purchase.

I’d like to have listed Lightning Deals as well, but you must use FBA as your logistics partner [6].

Ensure you can still make a profit after factoring in the discount and your supplier's wholesale price. Or you could take the Amazon approach and not be profitable until you corner the market [7]. But you’ll lose A LOT of money in this case for a risk that may not pay off.

When doing promotions, align them with holidays, shopping events (like Prime Day), or specific seasons related to your product niche. For instance, start a promotion on Easter egg painting kits around Easter.

And ensure you create a sense of urgency with these promotions. For instance, you could employ a scarcity tactic like "Only 5 left in stock – Order now!" So long as there actually aren't many products left.

There’s also Amazon listing optimization and SEO, but I’ll talk about these later.

7. Process Sales & Deal With Customers

Now, you’ll need to maintain your business, alongside with marketing. Here’s some of what you’ll need to do:

  • Monitor your seller account: Regularly check your Amazon Seller Central account for new orders.
  • Work with your dropshipping supplier: Promptly place orders with your dropshipping supplier to ensure timely fulfillment and avoid delays.
  • Provide tracking information: Upload tracking numbers to your Amazon account as soon as they're available to keep customers updated.
  • Offer excellent customer service: Respond to questions, address any concerns, and handle returns or refunds.some text
    • This is key to building positive reviews and maintaining a good seller reputation.

In your product listings and customer communications, manage expectations for shipping timelines to reduce potential issues.

You’ll need to deal with all the customer inquiries yourself in the beginning—to save money. As you grow, you could pay virtual assistants to deal with the customer service instead.

Summary: Deal with customer complaints and requests quickly to maintain a positive seller reputation.

Pros & Cons Of Dropshipping On Amazon


  • The ultimate side hustle: With minimum investment, you COULD launch a profitable business without quitting your day job.
  • Your store, your rules: Choose the products you're passionate about and create a brand that resonates with your ideal customer.some text
    • Amazon's platform handles the rest.
  • Limitless potential: With the right marketing strategy, you could build a truly thriving online business.
  • Freedom and flexibility: Run your shop from your laptop on a beach, your cozy living room—anywhere.

With minimal investment, you can select products you're passionate about and create an appealing brand. Amazon's platform takes care of the logistics. With a sound marketing strategy, you can build a flourishing online business, allowing you the freedom and flexibility to run your shop from anywhere.

Selling on Amazon means that you’ll be stuck in a never-ending battle with other Amazon sellers.

Here’s why.


  • Amazon is a cutthroat arena for sellers: Establishing yourself takes serious dedication and a knack for standing out against stiff competition.
  • Your reputation is on the line: Stockouts, delays, or poor product quality can reflect badly on your business, damaging customer trust.
  • The race to the bottom: It's easy to get stuck in a cycle of razor-thin profit margins.
  • Amazon's rules, Amazon's world: Policy violations can lead to penalties or sudden account closure.

Selling on Amazon is challenging due to intense competition. Reputation is vital, as stockouts, delays, or poor product quality can damage customer trust. Profit margins can be thin, and sellers need to abide by Amazon's rules to avoid penalties or account closure.

If you still want to sell on Amazon, you’ll need to stand out. Here are some tips to do so.

Summary: Selling on Amazon offers the potential of having a profitable side hustle with minimal investment, but factors like intense competition can make it challenging.

4 Tips To Succeed With Dropshipping On Amazon

We’ll explore the following tips to follow in order to succeed on Amazon:

  • Amazon SEO: Optimize your Amazon listing to match customer intent.
  • Market Research: Research trends within your niche to have an updates store.
  • Keep Pricing Up-To-Date: Update your pricing often.
  • Optimize Product Listings: Ensure product listings will acquire customer trust.

I’ll provide more details about each tip and how to implement them.

Let’s dive in.

1. Master Amazon SEO

Amazon SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of improving your product listings' visibility within Amazon's internal search results.

It works similarly to how Google ranks websites—Amazon's algorithm analyzes various factors to determine which products are most relevant to a customer's search query.

By understanding how the algorithm works, you can optimize your listings to rank higher, attract more potential buyers, and ultimately increase sales.

There’s A LOT to learn about SEO, but here are the basics:

  • Keyword research: Identify the keywords customers are searching for when looking for products like yours.some text
  • Target keywords in titles: Incorporate your top keywords into your product titles in a natural and readable way.
  • Detailed product descriptions: Include relevant keywords and highlight your product's benefits and features.
  • Use backend keywords: Utilize Amazon's backend keyword fields to add additional search terms not visible to customers.
  • High-quality images: Clear, visually appealing images from multiple angles help shoppers understand the product.
  • Encourage positive reviews: Reviews often contain keywords and signal to Amazon that your product is satisfying customers.

In the end, the number of sales is the main factor that’ll determine whether your product’s on the first page of the Amazon search engine results page (SERP). You’re new and obviously won’t have sales. But Amazon has a “honeymoon” phase, which is when they’ll test your product and put it on the front page.

This video explains it better:

I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t buy reviews. Even if you think you’re getting away with it, people now have access to free tools like Fakespot, which helps identify fake Amazon product reviews based on patterns.

SEMrush, an SEO tool, has a more thorough (yet free) guide on Amazon SEO that I recommend reading.

Summary: Amazon SEO improves product visibility in search results by optimizing listings.

2. Always Research The Market

Ongoing research plays a crucial role in adapting to changing customer preferences and emerging trends, ensuring your offerings remain relevant. It helps identify new opportunities, enabling product portfolio expansion.

Here’s how to stay on top of trends:

  • Regular keyword research: Revisit your keyword research every few months to identify new search terms or changes in search volume.
  • Analyze sales data: Pay attention to which products sell well and when.some text
    • Spot patterns that might indicate seasonal trends.
  • Monitor competitor listings: See what new products competitors are offering and adapt your strategies accordingly.
  • Social media and forums: Keep an eye on online discussions relevant to your niche to observe shifting customer preferences.

Staying ahead of competitors through research helps maintain product ranking and visibility. Understanding shifting customer keyword usage allows for refining marketing efforts.

Summary: The Amazon marketplace is dynamic. Make ongoing research a habit to ensure your dropshipping business stays agile and profitable.

3. Keep Your Pricing Up-To-Date

You want to be competitive, but also ensure a profit margin to sustain your business. Calculate a minimum profit margin you need to be sustainable and stick to it.

From there, you’ll need to consider these factors and tips:

  • Account for fees: Amazon seller fees change over time, and your supplier's costs may also fluctuate. Update your pricing to reflect these changes.
  • Protect your margins: If competitor prices drop, you may need to adjust while still maintaining profitability.
  • Maximize profit: Repricing tools can automatically adjust your prices based on competitor data, maximizing opportunities to increase profit within your target margins.some text
    • These tools always cost money.

Pricing isn't a "set it and forget it" task. Be proactive about price adjustments to ensure your dropshipping business remains competitive. Regularly check competitor listings to stay informed about market trends.

Summary: Pricing updates are crucial for competitiveness and profit in dropshipping.

4. Optimize Your Product Listings

Optimizing your product listing will likely make people trust in your product more. As it shows you put more effort into selling your items.

Follow these tips to improve your listings:

  • Target the right keywords: Find out what customers actually search for.some text
    • Refer to Amazon SEO.
  • Craft compelling titles: Lead with strong keywords and highlight product benefits.
  • Write clear descriptions: Focus on how your product solves customer problems.
  • Use high-quality images: Show your product from different angles with great lighting.
  • Encourage positive reviews: Reviews increase social proof and boost your search ranking.
  • Check your grammar and spelling: Incorrect spelling and grammar can lead to distrust from customers.

Don’t be one of those people who hastily lists products on Amazon that’s riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. Run your product descriptions and title through tools like Grammarly (the free version) or even free versions of ChatGPT, Google Gemini, or Bing Chat.

If you’re using AI to check your grammar, ask them to check the grammar and spelling of your product description and ensure everything is correct regarding your country’s standard. For instance, “Ensure this product description has correct spelling and grammar.”

Don’t use those Large Language Models to create product descriptions. Because then you’ll need to fact check whether their claims are correct, whether they included the correct features, etc.

It’s a pain to do, but you’re trading your time to save money otherwise spent on hiring copywriters or proofreaders.

Summary: Add better images, improve your product descriptions, and ensure proper spelling and grammar for product listings.

How To Scale Up Dropshipping On Amazon

Consider these areas to invest in if you want to scale up your dropshipping business:

  • Better product images: Hire a product photographer or upgrade your own equipment/skills for higher quality images that increase click-throughs and conversions.
  • Amazon PPC advertising: Even small ad budgets with carefully targeted campaigns can boost visibility and get early sales for new listings.
  • Inventory management software: If working with multiple suppliers, these tools help prevent stockouts and overselling, ensuring a smoother customer experience.
  • Keyword research tools: Investing in professional keyword research tools can unlock valuable search terms and give you an edge over competitors.
  • Outsource customer service: Help manage increased customer inquiries efficiently and proactively address issues, improving your seller feedback.

Pick one area to invest in first, and carefully track the impact on your sales and reviews before allocating more budget. Reinvest at least 20–30% of your profits back into your business for strategic growth rather than taking it all as income.

And ensure you set aside at least 30% for taxes. Because taxes are one thing in life that’s guaranteed.

Summary: Invest in areas that address your biggest challenges like ads, images, software, and customer service.

Dropshipping Vs. Amazon FBA

Which is right for you:

  • Dropshipping: Great for testing the waters, validating product ideas, or if you have minimal capital to invest.some text
    • It's ideal for those wanting maximum flexibility and less worry about logistics.
  • FBA: Better for businesses aiming for serious growth and long-term success.some text
    • It's more suited for sellers willing to take calculated risks and wanting to leverage Amazon's Prime status and customer trust.

Dropshipping eliminates the need for upfront inventory, reduces start-up costs, and minimizes the risk of unsold stock. Flexibility is a key advantage, allowing for quick changes in product offerings and testing of new niches, while also enabling remote operation.

However, the challenges include competition leading to price wars, limited control over shipping speed, product quality, customer experience, and slim profit margins influenced by suppliers' prices.

FBA presents advantages, including storage, packing, shipping, and customer service handled by Amazon. It also offers a competitive edge through faster shipping and shopper reliability.

And of course, there are trade-offs. These include upfront investment, Amazon FBA fees—costs range from $3.22–$194.95 per item—, and the possibility of slow-moving inventory incurring storage costs [8].

Summary: Dropshipping on Amazon is a great way to test your products. And when you want to improve shipping or outsource customer support, upgrade to FBA.

Alternatives To Dropshipping On Amazon

Here are the alternatives you have to Amazon:

  • Affiliate Marketing: Promote others' products, earning commissions on resulting sales.
  • Social Media Selling: Sell directly to customers through platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Selling on Other Marketplaces: Use platforms like Etsy or eBay to reach different audiences.
  • Start Your Own Store: Build your own website for full control over your brand.

The following sections will provide more information on each of these sections.

Read on to learn more.

1. Affiliate Marketing

  • Benefits: No inventory, no shipping hassles, and the potential to monetize your existing content.
  • Considerations: You need a platform with an audience (website, established social media following) to be successful.

Promote other people's products on your own website, blog, or social media using special affiliate links. You earn a commission for each sale generated through your unique link.

Here’s an example.

A beauty blogger writes a review of their favorite skincare products. Within the article, they include affiliate links to the products on Amazon. If readers click the links and purchase the products, the blogger earns 10% commission on those sales.

The actual commission percentage or number will vary by category and affiliate program. This is just an example.

To get started, you’ll need to join affiliate networks (like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate) or partner directly with brands offering affiliate programs. From there, you choose products to promote, get your affiliate link, then promote.

You will need to pay for domain names and hosting if you do this on your own website. But this is free if you do it through social media or free publishing sites like Medium.

2. Social Media Selling

Key platforms for social media selling:

  • Pinterest: Great for driving traffic to your store with visually appealing product pins, good for those who have beautiful and engaging product imagery.
  • Instagram: Highly visual and allows for shoppable posts and stories, perfect for businesses with a strong visual aesthetic and established following.
  • TikTok: Exploit the power of short-form videos and viral content, well-suited for products with a "wow" factor or those targeting a younger demographic.
  • Facebook: Utilize Marketplace for local sales or interest-based groups, ideal for reaching specific communities within your geographic area.

Social media selling is the practice of using social media platforms to directly sell products to customers. Instead of relying on a traditional e-commerce website, businesses leverage social platforms to showcase products, engage with potential buyers, and deal with transactions.

This approach allows for a more personal and interactive shopping experience.

Here's a real-world example.

Source [9]

A small cosmetic business uses Instagram to showcase their palettes. They post visually appealing photos and videos of their products being used by models or styled in different ways.

They include engaging captions that highlight the unique features of the item, and use hashtags to reach a wider audience. Customers can browse the cosmetics, leave comments for inquiries, and purchase directly through Instagram Shopping features.

3. Sell on Other Marketplaces

Here are some popular alternative marketplaces and a brief look at their dropshipping policies:

  • Etsy: Focused on handmade, vintage, and craft supplies—dropshipping of finished goods is generally prohibited, but you may be able to work with suppliers for components or raw materials.some text
    • Charges listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees.
  • eBay: A versatile platform for new and used goods—dropshipping generally allowed, but transparency with buyers is key.some text
    • Usually has listing fees and a final value fee (percentage of the total sale price).
  • Walmart Marketplace: Growing competitor to Amazon—dropshipping is supported, but must adhere to Walmart's guidelines for suppliers and customer experience.some text
    • Charges a referral fee on each item sold, which varies depending on the category and charges when a product makes a sale.
  • Bonanza: Marketplace known for unique items—policies are less restrictive than Amazon, offering greater flexibility for dropshippers.some text
    • $5 account set-up fee, $0.25 + 3.5% transaction fee when product makes a sale [10].

Several marketplaces besides Amazon offer opportunities for dropshipping businesses. These platforms present different advantages, target audiences, and rules regarding dropshipping. 

Always thoroughly research the specific dropshipping policies of any marketplace before you start selling. Policies can change, and understanding the platform's rules is crucial for avoiding account restrictions.

4. Start Your Own Store (Costs Money)

  • Benefits: Greater control over your store's appearance, branding, customer data, and the ability to build a long-term brand.
  • Considerations: You'll be responsible for driving traffic to your site through marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.

You could also start your own store, but this will cost money upfront. You’ll need to pay for hosting and domain names. However, you could get started for free on Shopify for a few days, then pay $1 a month for the first month.

This would be the cheapest way to get started.

Here's a look at other popular options and their free plan offerings:

  • Wix: No “free” plans or trials available, but charges around $4.50 monthly for their cheapest tier.
  • Squarespace: Offers beautiful templates and design-forward features—offers a 14-day free trial.
  • BigCommerce: Powerful platform focused on e-commerce—offers a 15-day free trial.

And that’s it for this guide. Now get into dropshipping.

FAQs For Dropshipping On Amazon

Read on to find frequently asked questions about dropshipping on Amazon.

Is Amazon-To-eBay Dropshipping Allowed?

Dropshipping from Amazon to eBay is not allowed by eBay's policies.


Starting a dropshipping business on Amazon is possible without spending money upfront. The key is finding reliable dropshipping suppliers, understanding Amazon's fees and policies, and effectively marketing your products for visibility.

Do you need a tool to help you start dropshipping on Amazon? Learn more about how we can help.

Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify $1/month for 3 months.
Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify for $1 for one month.

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